Movie Stars: Grant, Cary–Betsy Drake, Third Wife (Longest Marriage)

Betsy Drake and Cary Grant made two films together: Every Girl Should Be Married, in 1948, and Room for One More in 1952, both undistinguished artistically, though the former was a commercial hit.

Her short screen career was short (about 10 films) and lackluster.

In July 1956, Drake survived the sinking of the Italian ocean liner SS Andrea Doria. At the time, she had been visiting Grant in Spain and was returning to the US. She boarded the Doria, along with other wealthy travelers at Gibraltar, one of many stops the ship made on the way to the final destination of New York. When the Doria collided with the Stockholm, Drake waited with for rescue. She was among more the 700 people rescued by the famed French passenger liner Île de France.

Drake wrote the original script for the film Houseboat (1958), set to star Grant and herself. However, Grant began affair with the sexy Sophia Loren while filming The Pride and the Passion (1957), and he arranged for Loren to take Drake’s place in Houseboat, with a rewritten script for which Drake did not receive credit. The affair ended in bitterness before The Pride and the Passion’s shoot ended, causing problems on the Houseboat set.

Grant and Drake separated in 1958, remaining friends, and divorced in 1962. Their marriage was Grant’s longest union. He credited her with broadening his interests beyond his career and with introducing him to the then-legal LSD therapy and to hypnosis. Drake took LSD as a way of recovering from the trauma of divorce. She had no children with Grant and never remarried.

Drake’s last screen appearance was in the documentary Cary Grant: A Class Apart (2005), in which she reflected on Grant, denying rumors that he was bisexual.

Drake spent the latter part of her life in London, where she died aged 92 on October 27, 2015.

Every Girl Should Be Married (1948) as Anabel Sims
Dancing in the Dark (1949) as Julie Clarke
The Second Woman (1950) as Ellen Foster
Pretty Baby (1950) as Patsy Douglas
Room for One More (1952) as Anna Rose
Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957) as Jenny Wells
General Electric Theater as Ellie (one episode, 1958)
Intent to Kill (1958) as Dr. Nancy Ferguson
Next to No Time (1958) as Georgie Brant
Clarence, the Cross-Eyed Lion (1965) as Julie Harper